Friday, June 30, 2017

Try something new, huh?

Last Sunday, about a hundred miles into our trip to Delaware (yeah, Delaware), we passed the massive Dover International Speedway. And because I'm a Dad, I essentially demanded that my kids look up from their devices and take a gander at that!

Now, since I'm not a backwards hillbilly, I've never been to a NASCAR event, but I almost pulled the car over immediately when my wife, gazing longingly out the window, wistfully said, You know, I'd go to race if you took me.

Wait, what?

You'd willingly want to go to a racetrack, surround yourself with a bunch of redneck a-holes, and watch a bunch of stupid cars drive in circles? Really?

But, didn't we just do that?

Even though it reminds me of the glorious time when my son was a wee lad, I hate just about everything concerning the Cars franchise. The latest installment, Cars 3, isn't the outright lemon that Cars 2 [review] was, but trust me, that ain't saying much.

What's that, you don't give a damn about the plot? Neither do I. But here goes anyway:

In the Piston Cup, a new wave of racers have cropped up, and these speedy youngsters are forcing all the old-heads into retirement. Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), the once upstart rookie, now a seasoned vet, crashes in the final race and appears to be finished. But when he heads back to Radiator Springs for rehab, hanging it up is the last thing on his mind.

Honestly, at this point, I was kind of on board with what Pixar was offering up as Cars 3, at least initially, is a welcome return to the pace and themes of the original (again, not a film I want to sleep with, but I wouldn't kick it out of the bed, either). McQueen's nostalgia for his old mentor Doc Hudson (the late Paul Newman) was totally welcome, and the idea of going out on your own terms was also appreciated. But then...well...

...the girl showed up.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Up, back, forward, down.

I was obsessed with stand-up comedy.

I watched An Evening at the Improv every single night that it was on. And I swear that f--ker was on seven days a week. Hell, Budd Friedman was like a second father to me. MTV, before it was (extra) terrible, used to have a show called the Half Hour Comedy Hour, and I simply couldn't get enough of that shit (and host Mario Joyner). And whenever HBO had those free preview weekends (which as a kid, was nothing short of world-changing), I would record an expletive-filled hour long special...on something called a VHS cassette, and watch that f--ker till I memorized it.

Between you and me, and this is something I'm not sure I ever said aloud...but, funny or not,...I wanted to be a comedian. That was my dream.

And I never did a single thing about it.

Eddie Edwards, fortunately, wasn't such a pussy, and as detailed in the ultimate crowd-pleasing film Eddie the Eagle, this dude straight up made his dream come true. There are lots of ways to be inspired in this world, but Eddie's story is nothing short of astonishing, especially considering how it all began.

And of course, as these movies often go, how it all ended, too.

Taron 'Eggsy' Egerton plays Eddie, whom despite a youth spent on dodgy knees, is doggedly determined to be an Olympian. While this kid might not have the slightest bit of athletic skill, he's certainly bringing home gold in biggest balls on the planet. With the help of a reluctant coach named Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman, donning the tightest jeans in the history of cinema), ol' Eddie sets the world on fire sixty-one meters at a time.

Ski-jumping. Or as it should be known, Why would anyone ever willingly do this?

While the plausibility of just about any minute of this movie seems f--king laughable, there's nothing remotely funny about what Eddie Edwards accomplished. This guy had an impossible dream and absolutely made it come by sheer force. Me? I never asked the question. This guy not only asked it, but then didn't give a f--k about the answer.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Are we good?

I saw him coming. Saw him before my dog did, in fact.

So, quickly, I followed Dodger into the backyard, hopefully allowing this guy time to stroll by without listening to the relentless barking of my forty-two pound pup. Thought I'd do each of us a solid. 

But something wasn't right. It had been more than a minute, and this guy hadn't walked passed my house yet. And it's not like I locked the front door, for f--k's sake. I honestly thought to myself, Watch this asshole be in my house. 

F--k this. F--k all of this, you know? Why do these f--king people always show up at my house? Can't they ruin someone else's night? All I want to do is go the f--king movies with my wife, and now I gotta get murdered by some dickhole in a blue shirt.

(But more on that in a bit)

My wife, yes my wife, actually wanted to see the f--king shark movie with Mandy Moore on Saturday night, but in a shocking turn of events...it was sold out (I shit you not). Ten minutes later, and with just a few seats remaining, we trudged into an 8:10 showing of It Comes At Night

Bullet. Dodged.

Having not seen a trailer, nor read a synopsis, all I knew was that early word suggested this Joel Edgerton-starring flick might knock me on my ass. And while quite literally everyone else in the theater f--king detested the flick, I thought it f--king ruled.

Something terrible has happened in the world, and the population has drastically dwindled. When we meet Paul and his family (a wife and a teenage son), they are reluctantly putting ol' Grampa down, as a mysterious illness has ravaged what's left of his body. It's brutal, it's frightening, and utterly f--king horrific. But as you look into the forlorn eyes of the family patriarch, it was absolutely necessary too. Paul isn't taking any chances to protect his family. And surviving in this f--ked up reality has become nothing short of business. And the Paul runs things?

Business is good. Real good.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This is not a tomb. It's a prison.

We catch up. We laugh. We bullshit about whatever.

We go out to eat (usually Mexican). We go to a baseball game. We bullshit some more.

We talk about our wives. We play some videogames. We talk about our wives some more..

And then, as is also part of the annual tradition of when my older brother comes to visit me, we go to a terrible f--king movie.

In 3D.

Last year, it was the dreadful-ass sequel no one asked for, the steaming bucket of dicks that was Independence Day: Resurgence. This year, it was a dreadful-ass reboot no one asked for, the sack full of assholes known as The Mummy

It's not that we hate ourselves, or our money, that continually leads us down this awful road of dick-punch cinema. But it's instead something that we both love (and always have): the promise of a big screen spectacle. We're men of simple tastes, and getting together always reminds us of our shared childhood thirty-plus years ago. A big-budget nod to the past should have been the stuff of dreams, right? Well...maybe if either of us could have stayed awake.

I don't think I could pass a test on the finer points of what exactly happened in the Tom Cruise-led re-imagining of The Mummy, but I'm not sure anyone involved in its production could either. 

Consider that everything you're about to read is based on the opinion of a man who saw the second half of this film through the lens of a single alternating eye. And when you're that tired, or that bored, or whatever the case may have been, you start to really get angry at the film that's keeping you awake. I just wanted to rest in peace, you know? And then this handsome, ageless prick wakes me up, and I'm thinking: I'd like to level whatever city that f--ker's in, mainly by way of a giant sand cloud, shaped like my screaming face. 

Uh, or something like that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Your parents were obviously total failures.

My son is in second grade. Well, he was, as the school year is already over for that lucky punk. Me? I have to trudge along for another couple of days.

There are a ton of things to worry about when you send your little one off to school, and as a teacher I'm privy to some super-sketchy insider information, but my wife and I routinely find ourselves fretting over one thing in particular.

We're not sure he has any friends.

Which is entirely brutal no matter how you look at it, but unless this dude's pulling a major Keyser Soze on us, I'm telling you, what breaks my heart in half?

He's a really nice kid.


As are George and Harold, the two main characters in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Well, they're at least really nice to each other. If you're a teacher, or worse, a principal, you might not be such a fan of this dynamic duo.

But somebody definitely likes these boys, to the tune of over 70 million books sold. Based on the wildly-popular series of kids' books by Dav Pilkey, this animated flick, while typically hyper-active and full of fart jokes, is shockingly (and pleasantly) a very nice story about friendship. After the dumpster fire that was the previously unmentionable kid's flick [review], my sites were pretty low...which may explain why I enjoyed the movie so much.

George and Harold have been in the same class for years. When they're not fighting the injustices of how boring and soul-sucking elementary school can be, these two goofballs are up in a rad tree house concocting yet another adventure of Captain Underpants, their homegrown comic book character.

After yet another prank has their principal Mr. Krupp threatening to separate the boys into different classes (and in their minds immediately ending their life-long friendship), George and Harold end up, of all things, hypnotizing the disgruntled head-of-school. Instead of a worst-case scenario, now our guys can instead focus on being best friends again. And endlessly embarrassing their principal along the way.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fighting does not make you a hero.

I have a penis. And a brain, too.

I'm not 100% sure which one is bigger (or which one I use more), but that's a discussion for another day. Perhaps even another blog. 

Sometimes the top floor and the bottom floor work together, and sometimes they don't. While I consider myself smart enough to know that I'm not terribly intelligent, one thing I know for sure is that yes, I have a dick, but no, I'm definitely not a dick. 

And all nonsense means what, exactly? Well, obviously...

...that means I loved Wonder Woman. Loved almost every single thing about it. 

I love that it's simultaneously breaking records and smashing barriers, love that it will likely open doors for many more female-centric superhero movies (fingers crossed for Squirrel Girl). But, yeah, what I loved the most? Watching one of the most beautiful women in the world kick f--king heaps of ass. Yeah. I loved that too.

Why someone would ever doubt a female director (or a female writer) is beyond me, and beyond stupid. But I certainly thought it was fair to doubt a Wonder Woman movie. Initially. 

First, it's part of the DCEU, which instantly had my Shitty Movie Sense tingling. Second, and perhaps even more damning, is that all I knew of the Wonder Woman character came from watching my two older pervy brothers snicker their way through episode after episode of the Linda Carter television series (when we were kids). Invisible Jet? Lasso of Truth? The outfit that would make a stripper blush? This is a joke, right? No way this is going to work.

But then we all saw Batman v. Superman [review]. And Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman was the best part. By a mile.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

This place really is the worst.

Unless you have kids, or work with them (or in my case, both), you might be blissfully unaware of the influences quietly molding the future leaders of our country. And I would argue, vehemently, that your lack of knowledge about the latest trends and fads makes you a better person. Because knowing what passes for the best thing ever, might make you want to kill yourself...

...with a fidget spinner.

If you have, know, own, or just the worst, are an elementary school student, you're likely all about Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. As a mostly-functioning adult, however, I've never read a single page of his eleven (or so) books featuring the douchey awfulness, er, wimpy-ness of one Greg Heffley. But my students have. And more importantly, my son has.

After bitterly not sleeping through Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the fourth film in the franchise, I'm starting to rethink my ludicrous stance of taking my son to any film he's legitimately interested in seeing. Like, majorly reconsidering. See, I'm trying to foster a healthy love of actually going to the movies (the day he illegally downloads a movie is the day we have an actual fist-fight) in both of my kids, but after director David Bowers 'film', maybe piracy isn't the worst thing in the world. I mean, that way he would have only been stealing an awful movie. But this? This robbed me of my f--king soul.

Not that you care, in the least, but here's a short summary of The Long Turd Haul. Instead of allowing her three boys to just lay around all summer and be annoying a-holes, Mom decides the Heffley's need to load up the car and head out on an epic to visit their beloved Meemaw. They're going to get off their devices and spend some time as, you guessed it, a family.